10 ways christians tend to fail at being christian: a response

Huffington Postthere’s a great post by john shore on 10 ways christians tend to fail at being christian on huffington post. i shall list them below with my responses:

  1. too much money
    agreed. xnty has become a means by which to have commercial success. it was never intended to do that.
  2. too confident god thinks we’re all that and a leather-bound gift bible
    agreed. when xnty became ‘tolerated’ by rome, it fundamentally changed xnty. by the time xnty became the state religion, its members felt entitled and not persecuted. today, the ‘persecution’ some xns say they face in the us is actually the rightful questioning of their entitlement.
  3. too quick to believe that we know what god really means by what he says in the bible
    agreed. it seems that people can warp the bible into supporting just about anything these days. xns need a better hermeneutic, a better understanding of context, and an improved sense of the difference between literalism and biblical themes.
  4. too action-oriented
    disagree. xns are not action oriented enough. one of the main problems of xnty today is that they believe that if they hold the correct doctrine or worship properly and enough, they are good xns. xns should actually do what the bible has asked them to do – love others, cup of cold water, service, etc.
  5. too invasive of others generally
    sort of agree. xns are called to minister to the lives of others. if there is no interaction, then xnty is irrelevant. i agree if by this he means xns shouldn’t be as evangelical/pushy as they are. again, xns should focus more on service and less on making more xns like themselves.
  6. too invasive of others personally
    see above.
  7. too quick to abandon logic
    agreed. in an effort to defend the text and maintain an unnecessary claim of textual infallibility and inerrancy, xns are far too quick to even entertain abandon the laws of physics, exit the realm of science, and enter into the realm of the miraculous. if god is who he says he is, he can handle a few tough questions.
  8. too fixated on homosexuality
    agreed. see here.
  9. too insular
    agreed. xns should be out there serving and less sectarian. jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners. today’s xns put up gated communities to keep these out.
  10. too uneducated about christianity
    amen and amen. this is why i do what i do. if xns knew, really knew, what the bible said, how to read it properly, its context, and its purpose from a genuine academic perspective, we wouldn’t have ‘xns’ protesting gay funerals and healing people on tv for money. xns should seek a critical education of the biblical text and not retreat to a sectarian education of a school pushing a particular doctrine.

5 Responses

  1. Interesting post. I agree with your points.

    When I look at the overview of these ten ways in which christians fail at being christian, I see a common theme.

    What is the one thing that ties all these things together. The one ‘failing’ that would cause a group of people to do all these things?

    Ego. Pride. The sin of pride, if you will.

    Christians seem to believe that t pride is obvious. You hear someone crowing about how great they are, and you know they’re a proud person.

    In reality Pride is the stealthiest sin. Just when you are convinced that you are not proud, that’s the point where you become proud.

    Pride is believing, ‘knowing,’ that you are saved by God, that you are ‘chosen,’ and special, that your path is the best path for evenyone else, too.

    I see this common thread of pride running throughout christianity today, and I attribute it to the christian moral system, which is based in coercion and fear of consequences, rather than being based in empathy and learning to see the world through the eyes of others, learning to feel the pain of others.

    I see the christian moral system as heavily flawed, in other words.

    As the bible tells us to do, just look at their ‘fruits.’ What they do in the world. And what they do not do, as noted in these ‘ten ways.’

    It’s all based in pride.

    The truly proud man believeth himself to be humble, but the truly humble man knoweth himself to be proud.

  2. I wonder if anyone else here has run across this; I speak to a lot of christians here and there and on my own blog, and I’ve run across something that startled me.

    Many evangelicals do not believe that you have to be good in order to get into heaven.

    This blew my mind. I guess I was raised in a ‘cateteria catholic’ home, and I was raised to believe that one had to actually be good, to do good acts, in order to get into heaven. Much to my surprise I find that many evangelicals seem to believe that the sole criterion for admittance, is belief in Jesus Christ as savior, lord, and redeemer. Period.

    Heck, you don’t even have to genuinely repent!

    Just believe in Him, and all will be well.

    Can a moral system even BE any more flawed than that?

  3. That is why I came up with a little joke:

    “The modern Christian credo: Since we’re all going to heaven, let’s start looking down on people now just for practice.”

  4. The business of the learned and the philosophers is to DOUBT-and to part with SELF-CONCEIT…For if a teacher or religious group believes themselves to know all the answers to The Creator, the Universe, and our true manner of BEING, then they become a prisoner of those beliefs—and make prisoners out of those who blindly or submissively follow. There is no freedom in this, and it goes against the Law of Free Will.

  5. Given point 7, for many years I doubted whether I was a Christian at all. I didn’t even know if I was an agnostic. I had been brought up on the doctrines of Biblical inerrancy, Creationism, a literal understanding of Genesis and an unquestioning acceptance of What The Bible Says. I was an enthusiastic follower of the Faith – and then one day it all started to unravel.

    A lady asked me to prepare some visuals for a presentation based on the first few chapters of Genesis, and before I was finished I found myself thinking that this belonged more in the realm of poetry and myth than in the literal reality of our beginnings. If the Bible was not a true and accurate record (I had done 2 or 3 stints as a juror in court so this coloured my thinking) how could we justify doctrines such as Original Sin and Salvation?

    It’s now dawning on me that the Scriptures are not just an omnibus volume of Semitic camp-fire tales and assorted BSification, any more than they are a literal handbook describing what God did and when and what we should to do next.

    I’m in there with a chance, I can call myself a Christian again – but I have an awful lot of work to do to catch up. I need to have a complete rethink about what Scripture in fact is, and the dynamics of how I read and understand it. I’ve already had the fires of Hell waved under my nose and been subjected to some circular, self-referential argument and I know I won’t make myself popular.

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